This summer Bryce Holt worked as an intern at Bayside Country Club’s sister golf course, Bear Trap Dunes both located in Delaware. Holt is studying Agricultural Business and this is his second year in the Institute of Applied Agricultural (IAA) program at the University of Maryland. The program requires a summer internship in the agricultural industry. Holt worked as an intern to the Director of Agronomy at the club. The Bear Trap Dunes course is a club with twenty-seven holes instead of the normal eighteen. For this reason, the course requires a Golf Course Superintendent and a Director of Agronomy to keep the club’s courses in pristine condition. The internship consisted of prepping the golf course for the players that start early in the morning. The maintenance crew started work at 5:00 am. Specifically, Holt described himself as a bunker expert, he would prep and rake the bunkers using a piece of equipment called a Toro Sand Pro. In addition, the internship job consisted of mowing greens and fairways, blowing grass clippings, watering greens, etc. In an interview with Holt, he told me that one day while he was working, he found a snake in one of the bunkers and he tried removing the snake numerous times until he finally got it out using a rake.
While working at the internship, Holt learned that time management and motivation were important factors in being successful. Waking up at 5 am every day took a great amount of determination in order to succeed at this job. Holt had to work 5 am-1 pm daily to record 320 hours of work for the internship. Holt said, “I looked at this as a great opportunity to learn about turf management, the people that work at the course, and the golf course itself. The golf course was located near the shore, so it was an added bonus being able to live at the beach all summer.” Holt also added, “At this job, I woke up every day feeling motivated and ready to learn something new each day.”
Although working at a golf course was not something Holt felt was a career goal, after working at Bear Trap, his mindset shifted. He realizes that working at a golf course is something that he could see himself doing after college. While at the job, he took pride in working towards a common goal of making the golf course the best it could be. Holt explained to me that it was a valuable experience because it gave him a taste of working at a full-time job that involved manual labor. He felt productive and accomplished at the end of each day. Holt plans to finish the IAA next year with a certificate and then transfer to the University of Maryland focusing on Agriculture and Resource Economics for his junior year and beyond. Holt will definitely be able to apply the skills that he learned from this internship to any future job that he will apply for. During Holt’s freshmen year, he took a class called Pesticide Use and Safety. He found this class useful during his internship when it came to caring for and treating the grounds of the golf course, particularly in fertilizing greens, fairways, and roughs. Each morning Holt would clock in and meet with the grounds crew and the Superintendent or the Director of Agronomy. During the meeting, they would give the crew daily instructions on what to work and focus on for the day. After the morning meeting, they would all disperse and head over to the vehicles they would be using and check the gas and oil before using them. The grounds crew including the course Superintendent and Director of Agronomy would start their day regardless of the weather. Once the daily jobs were complete, Holt would go back to the shop and rinse off whatever vehicle he was using. He would then work on additional maintenance with equipment like a string-trimmer, a leaf blower, or another handheld tool. In addition to the daily maintenance and work on the course, there was also a business aspect of the internship where Holt would meet and discuss weekly internship assignments with the Director of Agronomy. Overall, Holt’s summer internship was a positive learning experience. He gained hands-on knowledge of the industry and applied his coursework to this experience.